Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

What Went Wrong and Why Jesus Christ Matters

What happened to Eden?  It seems like our relationships and our world is being vandalized. What’s going on?  Why are things the way they are?

The Biblical Worldview from Genesis 1-3 has so far been a beautiful picture of ‘SHALOM,’ the way things are supposed to be.  God bringing order out of chaos.  The goodness of gracious boundaries that all support the flourishing of life.  The beauty of right relationships with God and human interactions of male and female, family life and community.  So why the wrecking ball that seems to be tearing our world and our families apart?

The Biblical Worldview from Scripture helps us understand this.  The disobedience of our first parents brought into the world a curse that extends to everything and to everyone.  The ramifications of human sin has infected everything.  And today, as with everyday since the fall of humanity, we reap the fruits.

What do we do about this?  What’s the cure?

Actually, there isn’t anything we can do.  When it comes to salvation – the redeeming and claiming of what is now broken and affected by sin begins with God.  He initiates and then invites us into his reclaiming of all things. That’s right – invited to join him in all the ways that God’s love transforms our lives and the lives of those around us.

Genesis three explains the reality we live in perfectly.  A broken world in need of redemption and reclaiming.  The questions that God asks in Genesis three are the same questions God is asking of us today, “Where are you and who told you that you were naked?”  Jesus asks similar questions throughout his ministry, “Who do you say that I am?  What is it you want to do for me?  Do you love me?”  The Biblical Worldview goes a long ways in helping us answer these questions.

Sunday we will celebrate communion.  Read the text of Genesis three for Sunday preparation.  See you then,

Pastor Mark

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Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Relationship Beauty: Marriage and Family

Week three of our worldview series: In the beginning... Let there be community!”  Over the past two weeks we have looked at some key Worldview realities that come from Genesis 1-3.  Week one we saw that out of chaos, God established laws boundaries for our good and flourishing through the separating and filling of creation, “In the beginning… Let there be boundaries!”  Week two we saw God’s God’s marvelous design in crowning humanity as stewards and caretakers of the creation, “In the beginning… Let there be earth keepers, gardeners, builders, and developers!”

This week we take another look at the crown (humanity) of God’s creation with a focus on relationships; community and family.  There are some very important and informative phrases in the Hebrew language of the creation story.  We will look at God’s design for community and family through phrases of, ‘It was not good for Adam to be alone’, ‘God created a ‘helper’ suitable for him’, ‘the two shall become one flesh’, and ‘they were naked and unashamed.’ 

There is much research out there about the affects of isolation/alienation on our overall health.  God’s design for humanity is wrapped up in community and family.  Yet, these concepts today are fraught with pain and brokenness.  What did God design in the beginning?  What changed?  And how does Jesus Christ and God’s redemption bring this design into goodness once again?

It has much to do with the reversing of shame and isolation.  Today, we see evidence everywhere of a ‘Battle of the sexes’.  Its not a new story but an old one.  What ought the nature of our female/male relationships be?

Lets look into the garden (Eden) and see what we find,

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Earth Keeping and Care Taking

We are entering Worldview Week 2.  Last week we saw God’s amazing design creating ex nihilo (out of nothing), calling order out of tohu wabohu (chaos), separating matter with boundaries/governing laws and filling the creation with living things, and finally, it was GOOD.   

This week we are focusing in on the mandate God gave to Adam and Eve (humanity) in Genesis 1:26-28.  What does it mean to be a ‘steward’ of God’s creation?  When we observe our world we notice that the created order is made up of cycles upon cycles, cycles within cycles, cycles of cycles… all designed for our good and for the flourishing of life.

On Sunday, we will name seven cycles of God’s design that support life on earth, followed by seven ways in which these cycles are degraded, and finally, what are some principles that can help us to navigate the stewarding of creation well.  (Earthwise by Calvin B. DeWitt is a foundation for this message.)

Strap on your seatbelt for this one – much ground to cover.  In download, we will dive into another concept of Creation Care: How do we balance the care of creation with environmental, social, human, and economic needs?  Sounds like a good discussion for download :).

See you Sunday if not before.  Pray for the world, pray for our city, and pray for your neighbor.

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Let there be… Order

Two years ago in the fall of 2016, we engaged in a four week worldview series on Genesis 1-3.  I want to revisit this and dive deeper into where the ‘rubber hits the road’ by zeroing in on four specifics that Genesis 1-3 informs: Boundaries, Creation Stewardship, Human Relationships, and ‘What Went Wrong and What Now?’

Many of us have some kind of vision deficiency.  What’s your diagnosis?  Nearsighted?  Farsighted?  Myopia?   A worldview is like a pair of glasses, a set of contacts – a way in which we view the world.   A Worldview is a set of beliefs and assumptions – a conception-philosophy-outlook of the world that informs our living in the world.  A worldview guides us in making sense of our world.  Its how one sees life and their place in it… it involves our understanding of knowledge, values, what is good, true, right, beautiful – it informs and shapes purpose and meaning.  A worldview is like a road map determining priorities, can help explain our relationship to God and other people, help us assess the meaning of events in our life, and significantly guide our decisions and actions in life.  Michael Palmer says it this way, “A worldview can lead us in our understanding of what is authentically real.”

This is important stuff – what is our worldview and how does it inform your everyday life?  Genesis (beginnings) is a powerful informer of worldview.  As you read Genesis 1 in prep for Sunday, notice the structure of boundaries.  God definitely placed boundaries for our good and flourishing in the created order.  But Genesis says much more about boundaries in the physical created order… MUCH more.

See you Sunday,
Pastor Mark